REVEALED: Paul Pogba to return for Newcastle United game; while Manchester United star confirms he never considered leaving the club. Manchester United planning Samuel Umtiti swoop; while Roberto Martinez believes Lukaku can handle Man United pressure.
5. Lukaku can handle Manchester United pressure – Martinez
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has backed Romelu Lukaku to return to form sooner rather than later.
The only current Manchester United striker has had a run of seven games without a goal for the Red Devils.
Martinez, who also worked with Lukaku at Everton, believes that the 24-year-old has what it takes to adapt to the demands of life at Old Trafford.
“I’ve got a big advantage with Romelu because I’ve worked with him for four years,” he told reporters. “I know Romelu inside out. I think he just relishes the challenge. He’s been enjoying a really good start to the season and now is a period he is ready to cope with.”
“I have no worries whatsoever. All he needs to do in his career is to carry on being himself in a club with the expectations and the demand of Manchester United. For me nothing has changed in Romelu’s mind.”
4. Manchester United planning Samuel Umtiti swoop
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti as a possible transfer target in January.
Mourinho is understood to be considering defensive reinforcements to play alongside Eric Bailly; while £30m summer signing Victor Lindelof yet to start a single Premier League game since his arrival.
Phil Jones has emerged as Mourinho’s first choice to partner Bailly. But the Portuguese boss is thought to want another top-class centre-back having not been convinced by Chris Smalling.
The Mirror reports that the Red Devils have turned their attention to Umtiti, who has a £53m buyout clause in his contract at Barcelona.
The 23-year-old has established himself as first choice alongside Gerard Pique at Camp Nou. But he is understood to be open to a move away unless he is offered improved terms by the Catalans.
3. I never considered leaving Manchester United – Ashley Young
Manchester United full-back Ashley Young has insisted that he never considered leaving the club despite facing fierce speculation over his future during the summer.
The 32-year-old was understood to have been close to moving to the Chinese Super League during the summer transfer window.
But he has since revived his career at Old Trafford by providing an answer for United’s problem area of left-back.
Young’s form has been rewarded with a place in Southgate’s latest England squad for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
“A lot’s been said about me playing for three different managers at the club. Even the England manager said the other day that I have played for three managers there and they have always believed in me,” he told reporters.
“They have always had that trust in me to play – Champions League, Europa League, big derbies. I’ve always had their trust to play in those games. I think there did come a point last season where I wasn’t in the squad, wasn’t even making the 18. It was disappointing but I have never thought about leaving the club.”
2. Paul Pogba to return for Newcastle United game
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is reportedly on course to make his return from injury immediately after the international break.
The 24-year-old has not featured for the Red Devils since damaging his hamstring in mid-September. The France international midfielder has missed their last 12 matches in all competitions.
United boss Jose Mourinho confirmed earlier this week that Pogba, along with fellow star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, remains on course for a comeback before the end of the year.
According to the Daily Star, Mourinho is secretly hoping that the former Juventus ace will be back later this month.
Pogba will return to full training at some point next week and is expected to play against Newcastle being targeted.
1. Marouane Fellaini not fit enough to play – Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez has revealed that he left Marouane Fellaini out of his latest Belgium squad because he is not yet fit enough to play a full part.
The 29-year-old was introduced from the bench for late 30 minutes of Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Sunday. Fellaini has been out of action for a month due to the injury problem.
“He needs a proper 10 days work with no game in order for him to be fully fit,” Martinez told reporters. “Medically it is the right choice to allow Marouane to get fit.”
“If it had been a competitive game I think we would have called him up because maybe for the second game he could have been on the pitch. This is a period where we can afford not to risk him until he is 100%.”